For the last nine years, Brooklyn artist, Fred Tomaselli has been turning the front page of The New York Times into art. He scans the front pages, prints them onto watercolor paper, and alters the image, leaving the surrounding graphics in place. Tomorrow, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth will open an exhibit featuring 28 of these montages. The works reflect the passing of time, while also showing how the information presented to readers is often banal.
Tomaselli says, “I’m a news junkie . . . I love watching the history of the world unfold on a daily basis. I repurpose these cultural bits, which have been authored by others, into new artifacts. . . . Like the news itself, [these collages] present a ‘now’ as it immediately slips into the past.” One of the earliest works on display is August 31, 2005 (left) an appropriation of the front-page photograph of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Tomaselli used the water line of the submerged city transforming the photo into a toxically beautiful abstraction. “I love New Orleans, and I had a particular emotional connection to the news of that day.”
Another work in the show is Flipper, a 15-foot-long painting (bottom) created in 2008, that combines painting and collage, buried under layers of resin. “There is a tacit politics in my work, like Miró’s lyrical drawings made during — and despite—WWII,” says Tomaselli of his Times pieces. “The overarching politics of the work is perhaps that there’s me, making art despite the conflicts and horrors in the news.” Through March 2 at the Modern Museum of Art of Fort Worth, Texas. (Images; Fred Tomaselli)